Imagine, for a moment, a city without cars.
Not just a city with fewer cars, but with none at all. The sprawling networks of avenues, streets, and alleys are suddenly redundant, needlessly omnipresent and out of scale.
Imagine, now, a city designed without cars in mind at all. A city that doesn’t have streets (at least not the way you recognize them) because it just doesn’t need them.
When you step back to think about the way cities are laid out, it’s nearly impossible to think of one without strict grids of streets. But as we develop new mobility technologies – autonomous vehicles, adaptable geofencing, and advanced traffic simulations – we have the opportunity to rethink the city itself.
What might that look like? Or, more importantly, how might that work?
A huge portion of the public space we have in cities is actually taken up by connective infrastructure. Roads are a big part of this, but think of all the space dedicated to sidewalks, metro/rail lines, parking, and more. Smart mobility can help us to reduce the incidence of single-use spaces and ensure that public spaces in the future actually prioritize people, not just movement.
Building sustainable cities in the future will mean building denser, re-imagining how we use spaces and upcycling materials and existing buildings. All that without compromising on the quality of public space and biodiversity in urban environments.